Draft100

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CHAPTER 100

The city of Seattle, Washington is shaped a bit like an hourglass. Pinching it on the east is Lake Washington, and on the west the city is hemmed in by Elliott Bay.

Starting at Harbor Island the Duwamish River runs from downtown south to a meeting with the Black, whereupon it turns into the Green River.

This river, in turn, runs through a flat valley dotted with farms that is two miles wide. This valley was carved by a much larger river dur- ing the most recent ice age, with recent meaning about 11,000 BCE, before even Chokhmah was born.

At one point the Green turns east to leave this really big valley and enters a smaller valley that is a more proper fit for such a modest stream.

The farms end when the river enters the uplands that lie at the foot of the Cascade range. Here the river carves a steep and winding gorge for twelve river miles, six miles as the crow flies, marked by class III and IV whitewater. The wildest part of the Green River Gorge is crossed by a single lane bridge that was built in 1914.

On the east side of the bridge is the Green River Gorge Resort. On the west side is a road leading to the former ghost town of Franklin. The place was once a center of coal mining in roughly the same time period of Headwater's heyday in the same industry. Here in the clos- ing months of World War II the Red Wing of the Church of Green Dome transplanted itself, whole cloth, and the town came alive again.

When Rebekah arrived at the newly-constructed house shared by the Band in Franklin she let harself in and found a woman she didn't know burp- ing little Ariel. "Are you...did Robyn hire to you to be Ariel's babysitter?"

"Babysitter?" The woman smiled broadly and set the baby down. "This little lady is my granddaughter."

"Oh, you must be Clara. We've never met. Hello! I'm Becky. I'm a friend of Robyn...er, Kim."

"Robyn is upstairs in her room," Clara said. "Everyone is up there, as you can probably hear. It is nice to finally meet you, Rebekah."

Hunky and Dory were in their own room jamming on their instruments and trying to give birth to a new song they would later call Snow Bunny. When they saw Becky standing in the doorway Hunky stopped pounding the skins. Dory said, "Welcome back, sis. You'll be glad to know some ranchers found Gabriel in the saucer and took hem to the little hospi- tal in Roswell. It looks like che will pull through."

"So what are you doing just sitting here making music?" Becky asked, as though she could hardly believe her eyes. "Saddle up! We need to go fetch him!"

Hunky said, "Well, about that, Becky, you better talk to Robyn first." Then she picked up her sticks and resumed the beat.

Rebekah found Robyn in the next room packing Gabriel's things. Hez saxophone lay on the bed with the case open. Robyn saw that Rebekah was standing in the doorway but she didn't stop doing what she was doing.

Rebekah said, "Robyn? It's time to face the music, I know. I betrayed you. And Gabriel did too. We both did. But...Christ! Robyn, what are you doing?"

Robyn stopped sorting things to make eye contact with Rebekah at last. She said, "You know how they say you can't take it with you? Gabriel is taking it with hem."

"Taking it? Where?"

"To a better place."

"But Dory says he'll be fine."

"Che's got that funny little bone cup just like we do. How long do you think it will take for Tolson to find out about it and scoop hem up?"

"All the more reason why we should hurry, Robyn. Didn't Gabe and Dory help you bust out of that camp in Wyoming? They saved your life that time, if I recall."

"They had Michael's help. This time, Mike's staying out of it."

"Why? Did we sin against the Lord? Did we break one of hyz rules?"

"No. You broke one of my rules. But it suits Michael's long-range plan that Gabriel does not escape from Tolson."

Rebekah grew incensed. "His plan?"

"Michael wants there to be perpetual conflict between the B'nei Elohim and the government. It...shapes the future more to his liking."

"And what about what you like, Robyn? Do you like losing your hus- band."

"No, there's not much I like about working for Michael. And there's nothing I like about the talent hy gave me."

"And with your talent you saw it all along. But you let us go!" She stormed out of Robyn's room.

When she came back, minutes later, she saw Robyn had resumed packing Gabriel's personal effects. Rebekah was a little more contrite. "Look, Robyn, I'm sorry, okay? About the whole thing with your hus- band. I'm sorry!"

After a long moment composing what she was to say Robyn finally set- tled on a philosophical approach. "I'm not best pleased, Rebekah, make no mistake. I opened the door to all that when I told Gabriel che was welcome to his little flying saucer trip. If I had my way, my marriage would have come first in that instance, as it should do in every in- stance. But Michael has his plan, and I'm on board with it. Hy prom- ised to make it all worthwhile in the end."

"You say Michael wants conflict with Tolson but what he's got right now is conflict with me."

"If you insist," Robyn said. "I think you'll discover that you end up serving Michael anyway, despite anything you do to try to fight him. If you haven't read the Green Book, Becky, you really should. Your grandfather on your father's side is in there. He spoke of factions in the B'nei Elohim, and the loyal opposition. He was talking about you.'

"Somehow that makes it all worse."

"If it makes you feel any better, Becky, our general situation actual- ly is much improved for you having run off with Gabriel. Tolson would have gotten all of us and do to Franklin what he's already done to Headwater. And along the way you discovered a new thing, didn't you?"

Rebekah nodded. "I thought Gabriel might die. We both did. We weren't sure if Michael would forgive hem, or punish hem by not allowing hem to have a second life. So, daredevil that I am, I tried something as a kind of insurance."

"Insurance. In case a seraph broke hyz word? Not even Keter or Da'at do that."

Rebekah shrugged. "We used the Purple Cable and I...received hem. I allowed Gabriel to take possession of my body, in the same way Chokh- mah had took possession of Michael, or how Binah possessed Yeshua. All of Gabriel's memories until the moment of the transfer are intact in- side me. Then again, I'm not me anymore. But neither am I entirely Gabriel. I think when the elohim do it there's a difference from when we do it. I think because my way both parties are so similar to start with. But please don't ask me to share up the Purple Cable, Robyn, you won't like what you see."

"I don't need to cable up to know what happened," Robyn replied.

"Of course not. You already peeked at some future day when I spill the beans, so it's like a memory to you."

"That's not it at all. Look, Becky, can you guess why I changed my name from Kim to Robyn?"

"You did it for the same reason Sofie changed to Hunky. You're hiding from Tolson."

"No, I mean the name Robyn, specifically."

Rebekah thought about it for a moment, then shook har head.

"The Green Book," Robyn said. "I never really read it, growing up. And Hansen just cherry-picked verses out of it to support whatever hobby horse he was riding on any given Sunday. But Peter liked the little stories. I remember one time he read a story about a temple in heaven, and someone named Gabriel went there, but I just assumed the parents of our Gabriel named hem after that. And I also remembered that in the story that che was in the company of someone named Robin. When me and Hunky were stuck in Wyoming I really missed my own Gabri- el, so when it was time to think of a new name I went with Robin, but instead of using an 'I' like it is spelled in the Green Book I spell it with a 'Y' because it is more obviously feminine that way.

"Anyway! After all that I actually went with my Gabriel to Heaven, and we were married there by Yeshua himself. We spent a whole year up there. We did all the things that were in the story. Then we came back here on the same day we left. So when I heard Peter read the story about Robin, I was really hearing about myself.

"And that brings me around to you, Becky. You're B'nei Elohim, Begot- ten, not Made, but you've never said what special thing you can do. Dory is your half-sister. Your mother Anael is an ambi. Your father Azrael, or Red Star, is a yang, a male elyon. Between the two of them there was only a single X chromosome, enough to make a boy or a jist. Or they can have a female elyon, a baby doll. But not a girl. Yet you appear to be a woman of the Red Wing only a bit taller than me. And you've always been more beautiful than anyone has a right to be, yet I don't think you even own any lipstick, let alone the whole kit. So putting all that together, I have to conclude that your talent as a B'nei Eloah is that you can change your appearance at will, just like the Rebekah does in the Green Book."

Becky allowed a slow grin to take over har face. Robyn had her dead to rights. She changed smoothly into an ambi that had Robyn's face, but with shorter hair. "This isn't my true appearance either," sha said. "I'm a yin. But it turns out uncle Gabriel is not a snap by nature, but a mesh."

"I'm not sure if the face thing should flatter me, or creep me out."

"Che saw how you were when you had Ariel and che felt like che was missing out on something. But it was futile, if you think about it. I could penetrate hem, but I could never make hem pregnant. For what it's worth, the part of me that was Gabriel still loves you, Robyn. Hell, we both do."

"And when classic Gabriel gets tired of Tolson trying to make hem talk che will check out and go live happier ever after with his little Lamassu in Heaven. I remember that story too."

"I never went to Heaven to do whatever you said I did in the Green Book," Rebekah said.

"You haven't done them yet, on this loop. None of this time jumping should be a surprise to you, Becky, if you were less curious about dangerous things and more curious about ordinary things. Take your half-sister, Dory. Half sister. You're in the same year with her in school, which means you'd be the same age, but how can that be?"

"I'm going to sit down and actually read the Green Book," sha said. "Then when Michael sends me back there I'll deliberately do something else, unless he helps me save Gabriel like I promised hem."

"It doesn't matter, Becky. You already did what Michael sent you to do on the last loop, otherwise the Green Book would be different. Michael probably won't even bother this time. If it helps to set your mind at ease, on this loop you actually do keep your promise to Gabri- el, just not in the way you're thinking. I think you're being self- ish. You had to leave Gabriel behind, but I'm going to miss the best years of my own daughter growing up, and she's going to miss me."

"Why? What do you see?"

"Michael wants to send us up the timeline about twenty-five years or so, just me and Hunky and Dory. When hy told me that I pitched a fit about Ariel, so he's going to let us do it by stages. That way I can at least spend time with my daughter at intervals. Missing her whole childhood would be too much for me. There's a woman we haven't seen yet who will be skipping throught time too. We're supposed to meet her in the Nineteen Seventies. Michael says she is literally going to be the queen of the world.

"But you, Becky, no, you get to stay here. With your talent to be- come anyone's greatest desire you're pretty much going to run Franklin as you see fit. For me and Hunky and Dory it will seem like one long session of recording and touring, recording and touring, over and over. We're down to a power trio right now, but the band is really a four piece. You say Gabriel is still inside you, so I'd love to have you on board, if you will accept. I'm sure Hunky and your sis will agree."

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